-KICKOFF COVERAGE’S: HISTORY OF THE 32 IN 32-
-NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS-
PATRIOTS GO UNDEFEATED IN THE REGULAR SEASON, PATRIOTS GET PENALIZED FOR SPYGATE, GIANTS POP THE BUBBLE ON THE PATRIOTS UNDEFEATED SEASON AS THEY BEAT THE PATS IN THE SUPER BOWL:
After having lost their two starting wide receivers in the previous offseason, the Patriots added Donte’ Stallworth in free agency and traded for Wes Welker and Randy Moss in the spring of 2007; Welker would lead the NFL in receptions in 2007, while Moss would set an NFL record with 23 touchdown catches. The season began with controversy, when in Week 2, head coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots were penalized by the NFL for their involvement in the videotaping of opponents’ defensive signals from an unauthorized location in their Week 1 game against the New York Jets, referred to in the press as Spygate. The scandal was uncovered by Jets head coach and former Patriots assistant Eric Mangini. Belichick was fined $500,000, the maximum allowed under league rules, and the Patriots were fined $250,000 and were forced to forfeit their first round pick in the 2008 draft. Despite the media scrutiny, the Patriots continued to gain momentum, winning mid-season games by scores such as 52–7 and 56–10, as quarterback Tom Brady iterated the team’s desire to blow out and “kill teams.”
The Patriots clinched the AFC East before their eleventh game (in Week 12), the fourth time since the NFL introduced the 16-game schedule in 1978 that a team had clinched a division title by its eleventh game. In the season finale, the Patriots looked to finish the regular season with the first 16–0 record in NFL history, and did so successfully. In that game, Brady and Moss connected on two touchdown passes, with Moss setting his 23-touchdown record and Brady setting an NFL record with 50 touchdown passes on the season. It was the first undefeated regular season in the NFL since the 1972 Miami Dolphins finished 14–0. Brady earned his first NFL MVP award, while the Patriots’ offense broke numerous records, including those for points scored and point differential.
With the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs, the Patriots defeated both the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-20 and San Diego Chargers21-12 in order to advance to Super Bowl XLII; according to the Elias Sports Bureau, this made them the first professional team since 1884 in any of the four major American sports (football, basketball, baseball, hockey) to win the first 18 games of their season. Facing the prospect of a perfect 19–0 season with a victory over the underdog New York Giants, analysts saw the 2007 Patriots as being the greatest team in NFL history.
Despite being the overwhelming favorites in the game, the Patriots had to protect a four-point lead on a Giants drive late in the fourth quarter…
Aaaand we’ll just end it there… Tyree, Burress, 18-1, Spygate, THE END. Greatest team of all time to not win a Super Bowl,